Friday, 7 June 2013

Brilliant people might not be the most productive

I used to report to a director, but via matrix management work for another utterly brilliant man.  When it came to detail, I felt like an intellectual-dwarf compared with either.  But looking at the situation in a different way I review it like this.

When I went to my director with a good idea I would come out of the meeting with an even better idea.

When I went to my day-to-day boss with an idea, I would return with three more ideas!  (None of them were mine but all were sensible.)

Both of them were brilliant men (and still are).  Neither of them had the talents of making a decision to do anything nor of making things happen, nor the talent of making people follow them.  I respect and like both of them in spite of those flaws.

After that I worked for someone who had none of the intellectual prowess of my previous bosses, and yet he seemed to be able to gather followers and lead the ordinary people in the direction that he required - whether it was for the company or for personal gain - whether the followers recognise that they were merely being used or not.

This sort of thing seems to have happened frustratingly often throughout my professional career.

So it seems to me to be clear that the most brilliant intellects have no chance of prevailing in the real world.  That probably means that a perfect world will never be achieved.  Incidentally, only one of the above - the one who I least respect - has children.

Is this happening the world over?  Does this make tomorrow's planned demonstrations 'The Big IF' in London a waste of time?  I won't be going, but I will certainly be writing about it.

The world is complicated isn't it?

1 comment:

LadyAtheist said...

"EQ" is more important than IQ in leadership/management though it's best if your manager has both!